Since his stint on “The View” in the early 2000s, Star Jones has rarely been out of the public eye. At the age of 58, Ms. Jones, a lawyer, novelist, television personality, producer and social activist, began a new chapter in her multidisciplinary career.
This month has been named as executive editor of the Marquis Who’s Makers Lists – it will be a new online directory of American movers and shakers that are more agile than the company’s print productions – Ms. Jones dusted off this venerable collection Planned and give it a relevant spin. Here, she talks about her new gig, her epistemic life, and the dangers of oversharing.
Your appointment as an African-American in the “Who’s Who’s” editorial board is being considered as a milestone. What do you mean personally?
What makes it exciting for me is that rarely do you see any African-American playing a leadership role in identifying who is affecting American society – who are the thinking leaders.
Until recently “Who’s Who” was largely seen as an old-boy club, its content largely focused on the successes of a white male establishment. Do you want to change that perception?
Our focus is on diversity, equity and inclusion, but not only in terms of race. We are thinking not only of black, white, Latin and Asian communities, but also of LGBT communities, about people who are differently-abled or disabled, people who are elderly and especially women – The largest of those communities.
I like to say, “If you want to see the world as diverse, stop fishing from the same pond. If you don’t want to eat salmon every day, go where there are some beautiful trout.”
Who will do the work of fishing?
We have a 10- or 12-member selection committee. People’s background is reflected by the type of people we want to see in the list. Our members read various things, come from different political backgrounds, get their news from different sources and follow different social media influencers. My job, with our chief executive Erica Lee This is to ensure that the people making the selection are choosing from a large pool.
No matter the process, the assumption remains that “Who’s Who” is a dinosaur from the age of print. How do you plan to compete?
The bound volumes of “Who’s Who” and the annual edition have been in American libraries for more than 120 years and are still very much in place. But Marquis moved into the digital space many years ago. The idea is to ensure that it remains part of the conversation. This is why we introduced the Makers List.
What about the makers list?
These are digital directories, a living list of professional recipients. They will contain written biographies, some of which will be supplemented with video interviews. Because lists are digital, they can change over time and conversation.
Who makes the cut?
We have – and I’m trying to cast it as fragile as possible – for a few years. American excellence has not always been exposed in a way that we can be happy with. So we are saying, “Let’s throw a light on the Americans who have changed agents for us.” We want to list people who influence society positive way.
One of the list Alexander Butterfield. He became the deputy assistant to the president during the Nixon administration. He installed, and later discovered, the secret taping system at the Nixon White House. I actually got to ask them, “Mr. Butterfield Do you know what you had before the rest of the world? “It is fascinating to be able to talk with people who clearly have an impact on history.
Has the epidemic slowed you down?
Initially, I was misled into the false sense of security. In February last year, I took a cruise with my family to benefit the American Heart Association. We ended up in Florida. We got off the ship on 1 March and that day I flew to New York to open UN International Women’s Month. When I came back to Chicago on March 9, I asked my husband, Ricardo Lugo, “What about this Kovid?” Three days later, the whole country was closed.
Where are you sheltering?
We live in a condo near the University of Illinois at Chicago. Quick, I never left the house, except once a week to get in the car with my husband just to get some fresh air. Then in June, I wrapped myself up flying eastbound to my home on Long Island, but now we’re back in Chicago.
Looks like you haven’t stopped working.
I became a zoom queen. I was very active in the Biden-Harris campaign. Vice President Harris and I were sorority sisters; We have known each other for 30 years. I mobilized African-American women across the country to do fund raising events to support the candidates.
I hosted the Kovid Town Hall and forums. I took the former president of the American Medical Association, Dr. Patrice worked with Harris to ensure that African-Americans were aware of the risks of the epidemic.
You have serious health issues.
Eleven years ago, I underwent open-heart surgery. I am a member of a vulnerable population. I need to be very conscious of my health. In 2003, I weighed 307 pounds. I underwent weight loss surgery and lost 160 pounds in two years. I have kept that far away.
During your time on “The View”, you shared a lot of details about your first marriage, but didn’t tell the audience about it Your weight loss surgery. Some were uprooted. Do you regret
I had a job that greatly exposed my personal life. I made my choice; They were not always the best choice. Looking back, I understand that when you invite someone to your house it is very difficult to ask them to get them out of hell. If I had to do all this again, I would be more attentive, more private and much more rational.
in what way?
Oversharing can not only put you in physical danger but can also cause emotional danger. I don’t think you are due to anyone’s ability to hurt you. You have to be able to control your own statement.
This interview has been edited.